Watchdog Cracks Down on Misleading Statements on Fundraising Costs

Watchdog Cracks Down on Misleading Reports on Fundraising Costs 2

An interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper made Ken Berger, right, rethink his approach to evaluating how much charities spend on fundraising.

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close Watchdog Cracks Down on Misleading Reports on Fundraising Costs 2

An interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper made Ken Berger, right, rethink his approach to evaluating how much charities spend on fundraising.

When Ken Berger, head of a prominent charity-ratings group, appeared on CNN one night last spring, the anchorman Anderson Cooper asked him a pointed question.

The network had just aired an investigation into two veterans charities that spent most of the money they raised on commercial fundraising firms instead of on services to veterans. But Mr. Berger’s group, Charity Navigator, had awarded one of them, the National Veterans Foundation, three out of four